@blisshifi Got it. I know it well. At my shop in SO FL back in the day, we were able to get both lines since no one else wanted them. Jim Ryder (yes, the truck people--the son) had McIntosh and had been with them for years. Even though he was in Miami (Hi-Fi Associates), we could not get it, but my other store in WPB had it. No worries--it wasn't that good other than local doctors LOVED it and were in competition with each other to get the newest pieces. Those were the days!
Anyway, we even had Fair Trade back then. You probably know what that is, and it was difficult to deal with in a competitive environment. Our local discounter back then, Luskins, was buying train-car loads of overruns from Sony and selling them for less than our cost. Even though this was a fairly small market back then, it was VERY competitive. Very esoteric lines like Sequerra and Nakamichi had no issues putting product in every shop, even though we only had a few area shops back then.
I am sympathetic to the situation there with these lines. The best you can do is quietly work to have the best possible physical environment for maybe one or two items--home theater from Magnepan comes to mind as a niche product that you might be able to set up in your shop in a way that attracts them and gives you a small entree to the larger line with a well-set-up, dedicated space that differentiates your shop from the others. With ARC, well, sales are sales at that level, so you will have to prove yourself to them over time with QUALIFIED sales people, I guess. Back in the day, Bill would visit our shop and yell at us about pretty much everything. Wendell is with Magnepan last I heard, but he must be ready to retire soon if he is as old as I am!
Whatever, best of luck. It is both a rewarding and very difficult business!